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Search Engine Optimization Tips to Increase Revenue through Web Traffic

October 22nd, 2010 Sandeep Walia No comments

As mentioned in an earlier blog, I will be delving deeper into how you can grow your revenue by increasing your ecommerce website traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is becoming more and more valuable because of the sheer volume of websites, blogs, and social media sites. There is a lot out on the web today, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows the tips to enhancing SEO. Here’s your chance to get “one up” on the competition by following these 5 simple tips:

  1. Research Your Ideal Consumer. Before you write a book, you want to make sure someone out there wants to actually read it, right? Same goes for creating an effective ecommerce website. Define your target consumer and make sure the site is perfect for them. Once you have this panned out, create keywords that pertain to that consumer and create your keyword strategy so that when your customers are searching for you…they’ll FIND you.
  2. Optimize your Product Pages, URLs, Page Titles and Landing Pages. Enhancing organic search engine optimization may be the most important step to ensuring you land on the top of the search engines. Although paid searches get top of the page, most often consumers trust organic search because of product reviews. Ignify ecommerce uses a folder structure with each page organically search engine optimized with URLs and web addresses that are humanly readable. Page Titles are also automatically filled in with product or product category names instead of a generic single page titles across the store, catching the attention of search engines more often. With Ignify ecommerce, every product page is also automatically built to be a landing page. In order of priority, here is what is important for your native search engine ranking
    1. HTML Page Title: This is the most important piece of the puzzle and you want this to be automatically generated with search engine friendly terms
    2. URL or Web Address: The web address needs to include the category name and product name in it.
    3. Page Description: While the page description doesn’t intrinsically increase your native search engine optimization a good page description will increase the changes that
    4. Keywords/ Meta tags: Surprise! But the keyword field is the least useful when it comes to native SEO. Most people focus on this as opposed to the Page Title.
  3. Gather and Encourage Product Reviews. As I mentioned above, product reviews play a big role in beating out the competition. If someone is searching for a sweater at two different ecommerce sites, and one has a good review over the other that has none, the numbers show the customer will go with the one showing more credibility. This is something advertisements cannot show. Product reviews are genuine and from everyday consumers.

    Customer Review With Ignify ecommerce, you even have the ability to choose which reviews you display on the product page, keeping you in control. In addition, the little and most important secret about product reviews is that it improves your organic search engine optimization. You now have 3rd party generated ‘free’ relevant content to the product you are selling – nothing beats getting free content.

    Finally – ensure you show the total number of reviews and the average ranking in the product search pages and category pages. While this will not impact search it will help increase your conversion – which is your ultimate goal. Product reviews should not just be limited to the product page – the summary on the category pages, search pages is very important as it helps customers in identifying which are the high quality products when they get a product listing.

     
     
     

  4. Update your Content on a Regular Basis. Google likes new content, which is why the blogging scene has become so big the past few years. Blogs ensure content is updated regularly. Make sure you have a planned process for updating your ecommerce site before Google starts ignoring you all together. Ignify ecommerce allows several ways to do it:
    1. Editorial reviews: In addition to a product description you can add a review of the product from your company. The more unbiased and neutral the review the more reads it will get which in turn increases your search engine rankings
    2. Articles and videos: Add content articles around the industry or segment you are in. This helps build credibility of your store with customers and also drives traffic as the content is now crawled through by the search engine.
  5. Ensure Fast Processing of your Website. Okay, you succeeded in getting your customers to your site. Congratulations! But the time it takes for them to browse your website is driving them crazy. In this day and age, if a website stalls for more than a few seconds each click, the user will lose interest even quicker. Google also ranks websites for their processing speeds, so make sure your website is up to speed! To do this
    1. Horsepower of your hardware: Continually monitor memory consumption, log file sizes and CPU consumption. You should have performance counters on your servers to be able to view your usage. In regular periods your CPU usage should be under 40%
    2. Image sizes: Ensure you are not using large size images – while these can look pretty they can slow down the page. Reserve the larger size images for zoom – your product listing pages, search pages and category pages should use smaller size images
    3. Web Store application: Ensure your eCommerce application is optimized for performance and can serve up the pages quickly

Search Engine optimization for web stores is a tricky and wavering topic. The rules and trends change often, but one thing to always keep in mind is to have your customers in mind. If you think like your target customers, you will stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Sandeep Walia is the Chief Executive Officer at Ignify. Ignify eCommerce is the only PCI certified eCommerce solution in the market that integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Sage ERP solutions. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for four years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. Ignify was ranked in the Red Herring 100 finalists for 2010 – this list represents the top businesses in North America with disruptive and innovative technology.

Tips to Increase Revenue through Enhanced Usability of your Web Store

October 14th, 2010 Sandeep Walia No comments

In an earlier blog, I talked about % conversion rate for your ecommerce site, which is a function of two things:

  1. How easy is it to buy from your site?
  2. How attractive are the products, pricing, and promotions so that the end customer makes an actual purchase?

If you can double your site conversion rate, you can greatly increase your revenue. To do this, it's time you take a closer look into your site and your shopper's experience. Here are six tips to enhance your customer usability and conversion on your ecommerce site:

  1. Make support and Live Chat readily available. A great new way to help your customers and make sure they don't get frustrated with the buying process is to include Live Chat on your site. Live chat representatives can actually see your customer's screen in order to help them through the process.
  2. Provide multiple ways of payment. The last thing you want is for your shoppers to choose what they want, get to the checkout process and not be able to complete the order. PayPal and Google Checkout are an important option to have for your shoppers these days as well as different credit card options. These are not just payment options. Both PayPal and Google Checkout allow your customers to checkout without providing you with personal information and increase their comfort level to complete the transaction. For smaller merchants (i.e. anyone with less than $50 million in online revenues) this is important. While customers may be very comfortable creating a login account with all their personal information on an Amazon.com they are less likely to be comfortable to do this with XYZ Merchant who they do not know.
  3. Right amount of categories for your products. It's important to properly categorize your products so that they are all easy to find on your site. Too many can frustrate your shoppers and turn them away. Too few may not keep their attention as long as you would like. Also most advanced eCommerce products like Ignify eCommerce support the ability to have an item in multiple categories. For example a flashlight could be under flashlights but also under hiking equipment. This multi-categorization is important as it ensures you can hit different audiences.
  4. Make your site personable. For example, our ecommerce sites are built for personalization. Every customer has their own personal shopper! The store can make recommendations for specific customers through seeing what they've bought before or have browsed in the past. This is a great way to use customer behavior to your benefit, by putting relatable products in front of them.
  5. Use Videos and Articles. Strategically market and manage your products. For example, have videos showing the product in use on your product pages. The more information you put on you put the highest your conversion can be. Similarly on your content pages where you have articles/videos cross-embed relevant articles.
  6. Remember the Goal – Checkout. Ensure you are monitoring the checkout click-through. Ignify eCommerce provides this with a pre-built funnel integrated with Google Analytics that shows step by step where customers are dropping off in the checkout stage. For example, at one of our customers we noticed a 35% abandonment on the shipping page – a 5% reduction in shipping rates and a free ground shipping offer increased conversion by over 25% for this customer. Also to support the check out goal ensure the 'goal actions' are more easily visible than others. For example on the cart page 'Checkout now' should be a much bigger and more visible button than say 'Update Cart' or 'Browse Store.' If they are on the cart page you have one goal to complete checkout.

For more information and tips email us at ecommerce@ignify.com

Sandeep Walia is the Chief Executive Officer at Ignify. Ignify eCommerce is the only PCI certified eCommerce solution in the market that integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Sage ERP solutions. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for four years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. Ignify was ranked in the Red Herring 100 finalists for 2010 – this list represents the top businesses in North America with disruptive and innovative technology.